For a long time now red meat has been linked to cancer. The warning has yet to find a mainstream spot in food health conversations. However, researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno, have dug deeper into this connection and found out exactly why red meat dramatically increases the likelihood of a cancer diagnosis.

The research identified a gene in animals called CMAH, which causes a certain sugar to form. This sugar triggers inflammation in the people who, down the line, eat the animal with this gene. Increased inflammation then leads to the development of tumors and arthritis, as well as cardiovascular disease. This sugar does not exist in humans unless they eat farmed animals, meaning that this risky sugar can be avoided almost completely.

While many will encourage folks to eat poultry instead of red meat, it’s simply not the answer. Chickens, like all farmed animals, are pumped full of antibiotics which people then eat.

This continued process of ingesting antibiotics leads to superbugs which then weakens antibiotics and even immunizes people to them completely through the development of superbugs. Simply put, eating chicken could contribute to the destruction of modern healthcare as we know it.

Why eat animals when you can eat delicious, healthier meat alternatives? Some folks skip meats, alternative or not, altogether and instead focus on the wide variety of proteins available to vegans (contrary to popular belief). As the research continues, we may see more and more the dangers of eating animals.